Below are a few projects we've worked on where we've used different types of animation.
The first 3 videos use mostly stop-motion animation (claymation), while the 4th video (shark video) uses computer generated animation.
We're showing these samples just to give an idea of the look/style of animation we've created in the past— the content/theme of each video naturally is not relative to what would be created for the retirement video.
It's difficult at the moment to begin outlining specific ideas without any information on the retiree, but we could use any of these styles of animation to create something unique to their particular "career story".
In the second video below, there are scenes where we animated an old projector playing home movies from the main characters past. Something similar to this could be used to show certain milestones or highlights in the persons career in a nostalgic way.
A 'storybook' style animation with turning pages could be another option to move through time, and show particular moments you wanted to highlight.
These are really generic and somewhat basic ideas that could apply to any person, career, etc. With more details, the far more creative and personal we could get with how we could structure a final movie/animation.
Let us know if it's possible to share any further details, and we'd be more than happy to put together some ideas that would be much more specific to the individual.